Fear and Loathing on Wall Street: Shareholders, Democrats in Crosshairs

October 12, 2010

(ChattahBox Op/Ed)—Like the rapacious appetite of a zombie, the greed of Wall Street can never be satisfied. Without regulatory safeguards to push back against Wall Street’s ravenous hunger for more, always more profits, at whatever the cost, even the destruction of our entire economy, greed takes over and infects our society like a disease. That’s what happened in the years leading up to one of the worst economic disasters, since the Great Depression. And it will happen again, if the financial industry has its way with the Republicans’ help.

Angry and insolent over President Obama’s passage of sweeping financial reforms and smelling blood, like any predator, Wall Street is spending millions this election season to defeat Democrats. The Politico reports the ratio of campaign donations is 80-20 in favor of Republicans. With the Republicans having a good chance of regaining power in the House, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has pledged to his corporate masters that GOP lawmakers would roll back financial reforms, and make sure that corporate interests would come first before the well being of average Americans and shareholders.

And while Americans struggle to find work under the weight of a double-digit unemployment rate, companies are refusing to hire, even though they are sitting on piles and piles of cash from record profits. To add insult to injury, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Wall Street firms are set to pay out another record round of obscene bonuses and compensation, while the shareholders get shafted again.

Welcome to a culture of greed and selfishness; not seen since the Robber Barons ruled Wall Street.

After taxpayer-funded bailouts to prevent a total economic collapse, Wall Street firms are bellyaching about President Obama’s supposed anti-business policies, because he spearheaded reforms to curb their financial excesses. How soon they forget that they took the money from our pensions, and used it like Monopoly money to fund their trades in exotic instruments that also ruined the housing industry.

Now, Wall Streeters are whining that Obama is being mean to them and they feel betrayed.

A financial lobbyist relayed his sad plight to Politico.

“We feel betrayed,” the lobbyist said. “The administration came to us [in early 2009] and said, ‘We want to work with you,’ but when [Democrats in Congress] took over the process, they did nothing.”

Well, boo hoo. How soon they forget that the federal government saved their hides and their million dollar bonuses, salaries and luxurious lifestyles, while the rest of us now have to get by on unemployment checks and food stamps.

Wall Street feels betrayed? They can’t begin to know the true meaning of the word.


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